Category: INVERTEBRATES


TAXONOMY
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Corallimorpharia
Family: Discosomatidae (Corallimorphian)

Genus/species: Discosoma spp.

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Generally they are disc shaped with a conical mouth, and the oral disc may be smooth, ribbed, with small or large pseudo tentacles or none at all. Unlike Rhodactus spp., most Discosoma spp. have smooth disc surfaces that lack obvious tentacles, though some may have small or rudimentary tentacles that are visible as rows of knobs.  Discosoma spp.  have many different colors such as blue, red, green and purple and some comes in stripes and spotted pattern,

The consistency of the tissues is thick and, due to copious mucus production, they are slippery to the touch.

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Diameter up to 8–15 cm (3-6 in)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Widespread in Indo-Pacific; also common in the Caribbean. Found in tropical coral reefs, typically in dense aggregations.

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DIET IN THE WILD: Discosoma spp. is a microcarnivore of plankton; may also possess zooxanthellae.

REPRODUCTION: Sexual and asexual, mostly through budding and pedal laceration. Formation of colonies of clones is common for most species.

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REMARKS:

Corallimorphs are, as their name implies, very coral-like, but they do not secrete a skeleton.

Aquarists commonly use the generic term Actinodiscus.

REFERENCES

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Color on the Reef 2018

Aquarium Corals E H Borneman TFH Publications 2001 page 201-3

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/26535600445/in/album-72157659465376212/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink wp.me/p1DZ4b-1Kn

Advanced Aquarist www.advancedaquarist.com/2002/10/inverts#section-0

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Actiniaria
Family: Stichodactylidae

Genus/species: Stichodactyla tapetum  (aka Discosoma tapetum in the past)

 

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Tentacles are short bulbous variegated in a multicolored pattern and densely packed. They are often arrayed in fields on the entire disc. 

Diameter is up to 4 inches.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: S. tapetum are found in the Indo-Pacific and Red Sea covering the sand or reef like a carpet.

DIET IN THE WILD: Feed primarily on nutrients of symbiotic zooxanthellae living in their tissues as well as drifting plankton. 

REMARKS:  They are not known to host clown fish, but they are attractive to anemone shrimp and anemone crabs. In the wild, they are favored by Sexy Shrimp (Thor amboinensis) and Periclimenes spp. commensal shrimps.

They can give a potent sting if touched.

 

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Hidden Reef 2018

Animal Diversity Web animaldiversity.org/accounts/Stichodactyla_tapetum/classi…

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/24745127802/in/album-72157659465376212/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-iW

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Gobiidae (Gobies)
Subfamily: Gobiinae

Genus/species: Stonogobiops yasha

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Body white, with 3 reddish-orange stripes.

Video links

Orange-striped shrimp goby

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: They are found in Western Pacific in the outer reef slopes; often in pairs, hovering a few centimeters above the sandy bottom at the entrance of its burrow. Symbiotic with the red-and-white barred shrimp, Alpheus randalli

DIET IN THE WILD: The shrimp goby feeds on zooplankton and small benthic invertebrates.

Video link.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/39444680840/in/album-72157659465376212/

CONSERVATION: NOT EVALUATED
They are captive bred making them available to aquariums.

REMARKS: For a discussion of gobies and their commensal relationships (both parties in the relationship benefit). (see link below).
The goby benefits from the shrimp’s digging and construction skills, having access to a well-built burrow. Pistol shrimps have poor eyesight and they use gobies as an early warning system to detect predators. Gobies tend to hover just outside the shared burrow, catching passing zooplankton or small benthic invertebrates. In many cases the shrimps maintain contact with the gobies by using their long antennae.

Tropical Fish Mag.  www.tfhmagazine.com/saltwater-reef/feature-articles/pisto…

REFERENCES

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Hidden Reef 2018

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/41253989801/in/album-72157659465376212/

fishbase.  www.fishbase.se/summary/Stonogobiops-yasha.html

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink wp.me/p1DZ4b-1W8

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Class: Malacostraca
Order: Decapoda
Infraorder: Caridea
Family: Hippolytidae

Genus/species: Thor amboinensis

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Base body color is drab (olive or brown), with iridescent yellow-white spots bordered by thin white and blue bands, symmetrically arranged over their bodies. The distinctive vertical position and movement of the abdomen earn this shrimp its common name of “sexy.”

Length up to 2 cm. (0.8 inches)

 

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Length up to 2 cm. (0.8 inches)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Common in tropical seas worldwide. Found in Coral reefs; in association with anemones such as form symbiotic relationships with anemones such as Entacmaea quadricolor, Macrodactyla doreensis, Stichodactyla tapetum, and Zoanthus sp., living on and around their oral discs, tentacles, or substrate very near to anemone bases.

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DIET IN THE WILD: Sexy shrimp are carnivorous feeding on matter trapped in a host anemone’s mucus, including plankton. Their diet may also include other small crustaceans, such as brine shrimp and krill. When resources are scarce, shrimp may resort to feeding on the tentacles of their hosts.

REPRODUCTION: These shrimp are protandric hermaprhodites; they are born male and may change into females later in life.
Mating is polygynandrous (promiscuous) T. amboinensis are sexually dimorphic. Males are typically smaller than females and have white spots on their pleopods (appendages). During copulation, a male transfers sperm cells from his gonopores (located on his fifth pereopods) to a female’s gonopores (on her third pereopods).
Females carry, and oxygenate eggs under their forward tail section, on the pleopods. While bearing eggs, they hold their legs under the tail to protect them.

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Lifespan ave. 3.5 years

CONSERVATION: IUCN RED LIST Not Evaluated

REMARKS: Sexy shrimp are known to vibrate their abdomen to signal or warn others. They are capable of moving very quickly, at rates of 10-15 cm/s, to escape perceived threats.

They will endure the attacks from the anemones’ nematocysts. Some studies state that a shrimp acclimates to an anemone by collecting its mucus, which camouflages it from the anemone or other studies say that a shrimp acclimates by building up chemicals that inhibit the excretions of nematocysts from anemones.

References

California Academy of Sciences, Steinhart Aquarium, Hidden Reef 2018

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/3574925860/in/album-72157659465376212/

ADW animaldiversity.org/accounts/Thor_amboinensis/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1Jv

1-13-18 Northern Feather Duster Worms from Ron’s California Coast Gallery

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Annelida
Class: Polychaeta
Order: Sabellida
Family: Sabellidae

Genus/species: Eudistylia vancouveri

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: E. vancouveri secretes a soft, leathery, parchment like tube. The peristomium has several featherlike banded green and purple or maroon light sensitive radioles (tentacles) that are closely associated with the mouth, forming a feather-duster like structure. The radioles are also used for gas exchange (like gills) but the circulatory pattern within them is unusual. Instead of having afferent and efferent vessels, the radioles have a single branchial vessel in each radiole which the blood flows in and out of. Sabellids possess giant nerve fibers running down their body which allows them to retract rapidly into their tube if disturbed.

The pencil like vertical tubes are up to about 45 cm (18 in) long and the tentacle plumes up to 2 inches in diameter.

An excellent group of diagrams of fan worm anatomy can be found on page 27 of the Marine Biology Coloring Book by T. Niesen (2000).

 

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DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found from Alaska to central California in low intertidal areas to 20 m (60 ft) deep. Often in large clusters attached to crevices of boulders, bedrock, pilings; and on vertical rock faces and surge channels in heavy surf.

DIET IN THE WILD: Plankton-feeders such as this often live where there are strong currents and wave action, moving food past the animal at a high rate.

REPRODUCTION: The sexes are separate in these worms, but gametes are produced on internal surfaces rather than in gonads. During spawning, the sperm and eggs are carried up the same groove that carries the fecal pellets and shed into the water. Fertilization is thus a random process, and the larvae that develop are planktonic spheroids with flagella and cilia, at first looking nothing like worms. They add segments little by little and finally drop out of the plankton as real worms, to begin their feather-duster life.

REMARKS: E. vancouveri are marine segmented worms that are sessile, attached to rocks or sand by their base.

Northern Feather Duster Worms are light sensitive and will retract when a shadow passes over them to protect their delicate radiaols.

References

California Academy of Sciences J. Charles Delbeek, M.Sc.
Assistant Curator, Steinhart Aquarium

EOL eol.org/pages/614627/details

University of Puget Sound  www.pugetsound.edu/academics/academic-resources/slater-mu…

Wallawalla.edu inverts.wallawalla.edu/Annelida/Sabellidae/Eudistylia_van…

Ron’s Flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/30312750995/in/dateposted-public/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1IA

 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class:Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Nymphalidae

Genus/species: Catonephele numilia

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS:The males are dark brown on the upperside with dazzling reflective orange patches which vary in size and shape from species to species. Females are entirely different in appearance. In most species they have dark brown wings marked with linear rows of cream spots.
Both sexes of all species have cryptic undersides in shades of brown.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: C. numilia breeds in wet rainforest and cloudforest at elevations up to about 1800m (5900 ft).

DIET IN THE WILD: Adults feed on rotten fruits, while caterpillars feed on Alchornea species.

References

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/35513496662/in/album-72157608449327886/

California Academy of Sciences Rainforest 2017

EOL eol.org/pages/164956/details

Learn About butterflies  http://www.learnaboutbutterflies.com/Amazon%20-%20Catonephele%20numilia.htm

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1QS

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Mantodea
Family: Mantidae
Subfamily: Deroplatyinae

Genus/species: Deroplats desiccata

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: D. desiccata is brown in color with “leaf patterns” on its wings and has a broad prothorax that looks ripped and crumpled like a dead leaf. When threatened it drops to the ground with all legs folded resembling a dead leaf.
It can also react with a threatening display consisting of “black underwings” splayed out, with large eyespots, frightening away unsuspecting predators

Length females up to 80 mm
Length males up to 70 mm

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Indonesia and Malaysia in trees among leaves.

DIET IN THE WILD: Prefers flying insects like moths.

References

California Academy of Sciences Rainforest 2017

Ron’s flickr   https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/35513498372/in/dateposted-public/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1QM

Animal Diversity Web   animaldiversity.org/accounts/Deroplatys_desiccata/classif…

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
Clade: Vetigastropoda
Superfamily: Trochoidea
Family: Turbinidae

Genus/specie: Megastraea undosa

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The Wavy Turbin Snail has a heavy, sculptured shell with undulating ridges in a turbinate-conical shape with a thick, pearly lining.
The light brown or tan shell color is caused by the fibrous periostracum covered with coralline algae and other epiphytes.

Size: up to 6 inches

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found from Point Conception and the coastal Channel Islands to northern Baja California, Mexico. They range from the intertidal zone down to depths of over 250 feet.

DIET IN THE WILD: M. undosa are herbivores feeding on various types of algae.

REPRODUCTION; Year around with peaks in spring and fall.

CONSERVATION: Because wavy turban snails are hand-picked by divers, the fishery is at low risk for bycatch .
Wavy turban snails are abundantly available and have a high productivity rate, so over- harvesting is less likely.

REMARKS: The shells of wavy turban snails are used to make buttons!

The meat has an abalone-like texture and taste; foot of the snail is processed and sold to restaurants as an abalone-like product, “wav alone”.  They can be prepared many ways: grilled, sautéed, battered and fried, in pastas, in chowders and soups, and in stir fries.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Tidepool 2017

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/34539982943/in/dateposted-public/

Spearboard.com www.spearboard.com/showthread.php?t=99314

U of CA San Diego caseagrant.ucsd.edu/sites/default/files/fact-sheet-wavy-t…

Gastropods.com www.gastropods.com/2/Shell_292.shtml

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1Qf

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Cephalopoda (octopuses, squid, cuttlefish; and Nautiloidea)
Order: Octopoda
Family: Octopodidae (octopus species)

Genus/species: Octopus cyanea

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS:  Dark eye-spots are only sometimes visible and depends upon the patterns being displayed by individual octopuses. Cryptic Coloration: they are able to change coloration, and texture of their skin, to resemble their environment (adaptive or active
camouflage).


Bodies up to at least 16 cm (6 inches) and arms to at least 80 cm (30 inches).

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Tropical reefs from Hawaii to East Africa. O. cyanea is found in excavated lairs in coral reefs and rubble which can be located by identifying remains of clams, crabs at the entrance.

 

DIET IN THE WILD: Feeds during daylight hours requiring exceptional camouflage. Consumes crabs, clams and fishes.

REPRODUCTION: Males have a long modified third right arm that they hold in an upright coiled position and wave toward the female. When the female is receptive to the signaling male, he inserts his arm into the female’s oviducts to pass her spermatophores keeping his distance to avoid being eaten by the female.

Day Octopus (aka Big Blue Octopus)
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PREDATORS: Seals and large fish.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List; not assessed 2015

References

California Academy of Sciences Color of Life Exhibit 2015

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/19111242362/in/album-72157652559028013/

Encyclopedia of Life  www.eol.org/pages/593207/details

Marinebio  marinebio.org/species.asp?id=553

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1xs

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Actiniaria
Family: Stichodactylidae

Genus/species: Heteractis magnifica

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: H. magnifica is the second largest in size of all sea anemones. Disc to 1 m (3 ft) in diameter. Column which may be red, purple, or pink, grows to 20 cm (8 in). Tentacles (exceed 8 cm 3 in long) are of uniform thickness and do not taper at te tip; tentacles and oral disc are colored alike in shades of magenta-purple, blue, green , red, white or brown.

 

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found in the Indo-Pacific at 1–25 m (3-85 ft) often on prominent structures in strong currents or in strong surge locations.

DIET IN THE WILD: Most nutrition is from products of zooxanthellae. Also may eat fish and crustaceans using their stinging nematocysts.

REPRODUCTION: Asexual reproduction by longitudinal fission. The presence of the symbiotic clown fish Amphiprion chrysopterus can increase the amount of asexual reproduction and general growth.
Sexual reproduction, their fertilized eggs develop into a planula larvae which settles on the ocean floor and develops into a polyp.

 

PREDATION: Symbiotic clownfishes, chase away any nibbling predators, especially bristle worms.

LONGEVITY: in the wild. It is estimated that some of these anemones are hundreds of years old. In captivity, the longest lifespan is 80 years.

CONSERVATION: IUCN: Not Evaluated

REMARKS: Host to at least 12 anemonefish species. When disturbed, H. magifica “balls up,”showing only the column with only a few tentacles protruding.
The magnificent anemone is motile when trying to re-position itself to obtain more sunlight. This species moves by creeping on its basal disc, or by letting the tide carry it.
Anemones can be semi-aggressive and sting other anemones that invade their space.

References

California Academy of Sciences Water is Life Animal Attractions 2017

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/32131406193/in/album-72157629304397467/

Animal Diversity Web animaldiversity.org/accounts/Heteractis_magnifica/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1PJ

 

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